Last week I started the process of getting one of my VermiBags up and running again.
It must seem like there is a bit of a Red Worm Composting worm bag renaissance going on around here! (And in fact, I even have plans to get at least one of my old Worm Inns up and running as well. lol)
This flurry of new vermicomposting activity, which includes my worm bag mania, relates to my spending a lot more time over at my dad’s place (where I keep most of my indoor vermicomposting systems/supplies) in recent weeks.
Hopefully the trend continues, since it is starting to feel like “the good ol’ days” of RWC (and then some)!
Last week I simply wanted to get the system ‘brewing’ a bit, so I just added some moistened bedding and poultry feed to kickstart microbial growth (we’ll come back to this in a minute).
I started by filling the lower reaches with “scrunched” paper – this could have just as easily been shredded cardboard/newsprint, or really, anything rich in carbon with good moisture holding capacity.
Then, added my sheets of newsprint…
…and more scrunched paper
Next it was some soggy box cardboard (which had actually been ‘brewing’ a bit already in another system) and some of the poultry feed pellets…
…more soggy cardboard…
…a plastic bag to keep in moisture…
… and the screen lid zipped up over top.
I left everything sat for 6 days (while I busily set up other systems – lol).
During this period I firmed up my plans to make this a bit more of a “vermiculture” experiment than vermicomposting. Goodness knows, I’m gonna end up with a food scrap shortage in the months ahead with all the systems I’m setting up. So, I figured why not try a super simple approach – only using paper-based bedding materials (cardboard, paper, newsprint) and poultry feed.
IMPORTANT NOTE – This is usually the point at which the vermicomposting purists can turn up their noses, based on some of the conversation threads I’ve seen in the RWC Facebook group. The idea of actually buying something to use as a worm food somehow “defeats the purpose” in their minds.
I get it, to a certain extent – but also know that mastery of vermiculture (raising worms), “worm husbandry” if you prefer, is a hugely important part of the equation. Becoming a bit of a worm-raising ‘geek’ is not only fun and educational, but it can greatly increase your chances of success with vermicomposting as a whole – thus the overall positive impact you can end up making!
And of course, it also makes perfect sense if you happen to have any sort of interest in worm farming as a business (or using lots of worms for other purposes).
Bottom-line, don’t be a vermicomposting snob! It’s the last thing the worm world needs.
(Ok, getting down off my worm bin now – haha)
Getting back to my system set up…
Yesterday, I added some worm-rich bedding/habitat material from an active system, added a bit of water, and covered over with a layer of dry shredded newsprint (before putting back my plastic bag, and once again zipping up the screen lid)
I am really interested to see how productive this system gets. Will there be loads of Red Worms? Will I end up with big Red Worms? How will this exclusive diet affect the overall health of the worms?
Should be interesting to see how things pan out!
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